John 11: Cemetery Words (9) Lazarus Come Forth

Having assured Mary and Martha that their brother would rise again, that He Himself was the resurrection and the life, having the grave opened and praying before the crowd, Jesus does not disappoint. He speaks the words we who know the story have all been waiting for and that would have surprised those present, “He cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth’” (vs. 43). 

In one of the great ironies of human existence, the dead always seem to obey the Lord better than the living, though He is the lord of them both (Acts 10:42; Rom. 14:9; 2 Tim. 4:1). So out he comes in his burial clothes. “The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth” (vs. 44). Jesus says, “Unwrap him and let him go” (vs. 44), since the burial clothes that bound him as no longer needed. He is now unbound by death and set free to life indeed. Just as the sinner freed from His and welcomed anew to his family to a new life here. 

And even more, we maintain our hope that one day with a loud voice Jesus will call our name, “For an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice” (Jn. 5:28). Let us be readying for that day, like “Many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him” (vs. 45).